Columbus, OH — Meetings of the Finance and Rules Committees and the closing general session were on the agenda for Sunday’s (March 12) third and final day of the U.S. Trotting Association Board of Directors annual meeting in Columbus, Ohio.
The Finance Committee approved the budget for 2023. Among the changes was an increase in the TV sponsorship budget to accommodate 14 broadcast funding requests made to the USTA from racetracks, horsemen’s associations and internet media entities with some additional funds for future requests. The funding will support coverage on national broadcast television, local broadcast media, livestream broadcasts and podcasts.
The Publicity Outside Services and Social Media Advertising budgets were also boosted to provide the USTA with additional funds for a new website project that the organization has been working on and money to support advertising on USTA social media platforms, respectively.
The budget included an increased revenue forecast in membership, registration and transfers as well as adjustments in expenses to match services that the USTA is providing.
Overall, the 2023 budget projects a net surplus of $490,742.
The Rules Committee considered and acted upon the rule change and bylaw proposals as follows:
Proposal #1 – Saddle Pad Colors: TABLED
Proposal #2 – Infield Pond Barriers: ACCEPTED AS AMENDED – “All extended pari-mutuel
track infield ponds shall be enclosed with a fence or barrier.”
Proposal #3 – Racing Official/Driver Conflict of Interest: REJECTED
Proposal #4 – “No Contest” Criteria: ACCEPTED
Proposal #5 – Stallion Syndicate Requirements: ACCEPTED
Proposal #6 – Partnership Listed Owners: REJECTED
Proposal #7 – Horses 15 and Older: REJECTED
Proposal #8 – Claim Announcements: REJECTED
Proposal #9 – Two-Year-Olds on the Gate: REJECTED
Proposal #10 – Purse Money Distribution: REJECTED
Proposal #11 – Amateur Racing Licenses: REJECTED
Proposal #12 – Filing of Driver Objections: REJECTED
Proposal #13 – AI Following Castration or Death: ACCEPTED
Proposal #14 – Monthly Breeding Reporting: REJECTED
Proposal #15 – Live Foals > 140 Limit: REJECTED
Proposal #16 – Live Foals > 140 Limit: REJECTED
Proposal #17 – Embryo Transfer Restrictions: REJECTED
Proposal #18 – SIP Membership Category: ACCEPTED AS AMENDED – to become
effective on 1/1/2024
Proposal #19 – District 6 Track Directors: ACCEPTED
Proposal #20 – Roll Call Votes: REJECTED
Proposal #21 – Anti-Harassment: REJECTED
In the final session, Russell Williams gave his closing remarks and announced the dates and location of the 2024 annual meeting.
Williams had his presidential term extended during the meetings due to a clerical error discovered after the candidates’ deadline had passed, which led to the USTA presidency not appearing on the ballot. As prescribed by USTA bylaws and approved by vote of the full Board, the Executive Committee appointed an interim president, Williams, to serve until the next annual meeting, scheduled for March 2024. At that time, an election for the remaining three years of the term will be held.
“This year there was informed deliberation, spirited debate, rhetorical flourishes, shifting identification of issues; it was quite a good meeting. And a lot got done,” said Williams.
“I would say that this is the best Board of Directors we’ve ever had,” added Williams in his annual tribute to former USTA President Corwin Nixon.
“There is a considerable amount of work that’s been lined up at this meeting that will be developing through the year, probably finalized at the meeting next year,” concluded Williams.
To view the video of Williams’ remarks, click here.
The dates of the 2024 USTA Board of Directors annual meeting will be March 8-10, 2024, at the same location, the Hilton Columbus at Easton in Columbus, Ohio.
To watch all of the available videos from the Board of Directors meetings, visit the USTA YouTube channel here.